Oriole broadcasts improve radio ratings for WBAL

July 16, 1991|By Eric Siegel

For radio station WBAL-AM (1090), springtime is definitely the right time.

WBAL, boosted by its broadcast of Baltimore Oriole baseball games, finished first in the spring Arbitron ratings released yesterday -- the third spring in a row it has finished first in the ratings.

The news/talk station got a 9.0 share of listeners age 12 and over, up from 8.6 in the winter, narrowly beating out urban contemporary station WXYV-FM (V-103), which had finished first in three of the last four ratings books.

V-103 finished with an 8.6 share, down from a 9.6 in the winter. Each share point represents about 3,500 listeners in an average quarter hour.

But V-103 managed to maintain its lead in the less-widely used Birch Radio ratings for the spring, finishing with a 10.6 share.

The rival ratings services use different methodologies to estimate radio listenership, with Arbitron relying on listeners' diaries and Birch using a telephone survey. It is generally conceded that Arbitron's method tends to favor stations with formats that appeal to older listeners, while Birch's favors those that attract a younger audience. Discrepancies between the two are not uncommon.

The importance of the Orioles' broadcast to WBAL's success in the spring Arbitrons is underscored by the numbers in the weekday 7 p.m. to midnight time slot, when most Oriole games are broadcast. In the winter, when there is no baseball broadcast, WBAL had a 5.5 audience share in that time period; in the spring, the station registered a 10.5 share.

But WBAL also held on to much of the winter gains it had achieved in the midday time slots -- gains that were attributed to its extensive coverage of the Persian Gulf War.

WBAL also once again led in the 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. drive time period that is radio's equivalent of television's prime time.

Among other Top 10 stations,country WPOC-FM (93.1) and oldies WQSR-FM (105.7) showed the biggest gains, with an increase of 1.4 and 1.1 share points respectively. WLIF-FM (Lite 102) and WBSB-FM (B-104) each declined a point.

Arbitron ratings

The following are the Arbitron rankings and percentage audience share for listeners 12 and over for the Baltimore area's top 10 radio stations.

... ... ... ... ... Spring... ... Winter

... ... ... ... ... 1991... .. ... 1991

1WBAL-AM (1090).. ...9.0.. .. ... ..8.6

2WXYV-FM (102.7).. ..8.6... .. .. ..8.6

3WIYY-FM (97.9).. .. 7.8 .. .. .. ..7.3

4WPOC-FM (93.1).. .. 7.2.. .. .. ...5.8

5WLIF-FM (101.9).. ..6.6 .. .. .. ..7.6

6WMIX-FM (106.5) ... 6.0.. .. .. .. 5.1

7WQSR-FM (105.7).. ..5.6.. .. .. .. 4.5

8WWIN-FM (95.9).. .. 4.1.. .. .. .. 3.3

9WBSB-FM (104.3).. ..4.0.. .. .. .. 5.0

10WHFS-FM (99.1).. ..3.2.. .. .. .. 2.3

Birch ratings

The following are the Birch rankings and percentage audience share for listeners 12 and over for the Baltimore area's Top 10 radio stations:

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. Spring.. .. .. .. Winter

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. 1991.. .. .. .. .. 1991

1WXYV-FM (102.7).. ..10.6.. .. .. .. .. 10.8

2WIYY-FM (97.9).. .. 9.4.. .. .. .. ... 10.0

3WPOC-FM (93.1).. .. 7.4.. .. .. .. .... 6.8

4WBAL-AM (1090).. .. 6.3.. .. .. .. .... 8.4

5WLIF-FM (101.9).. ..5.2.. .. .. .. .... 5.4

6WMIX-FM (106.5).. ..4.7... .. .. .. ... 6.1

7WBSB-FM (104.3).. ..4.0... .. .. .. ... 4.6

8WHFS-FM (99.1).. .. 3.9... ... .. .. .. 3.2

9WQSR-FM (105.7).. ..3.8... .. .. .. ... 3.0

10WGRX-FM (100.7)....3.7.. .. .. ... ... 3.1

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